Sunday, July 23, 2017

University Echelon Above Reality

America is the leader of the West. Period.

I laughed when I read this:

Europe faces messier world as it takes its fate into own hands[.]

Oh please. I see Australian academics can live in fantasy world as easily as American academics.

The idea that Europe is stepping into a void left by Trump is ludicrous. And basing it on the then-failure of Trump to explicitly endorse NATO's common defense position is just dumb. As I've said, America is in NATO--not Trump. The Article V provision is binding on America which ratified the treaty under our Constitution. It does not depend on the whim of one man. I guess some got used to pen-and-phone rules under Obama.

Also, Article V isn't as iron-clad as this criticism would lead you to believe. It just requires a formal response and not full mobilization and sending in every swinging dick (or flapping ...) you have in uniform to the front. After Europe's World War I experience, no European state was going to commit to automatic responses to a threat.

More basically, Europe doesn't have the military capability to take its fate into their own hands. Their spending on defense is low--although rising in response to Russia. And they get little for what they do spend because most of their militaries are composed of civil servants in uniforms. Pockets of excellence demonstrate they have the potential. But the siren song of the welfare state will keep Europe from having a serious military required to back a serious independent policy.

And that assumes that "Europe" can act with one voice as a political Europe under to proto-imperial order of the European Union.

It also assumes that Europe would collectively decide to act more decisively than the America of their imaginary fears of America's retreat. Are we going to pretend that Europe has been uniformly solid in resisting Russian aggression against Ukraine and Putin's general aggressiveness? Seriously?

And Merkel (who I don't dismiss given the alternatives to her imperfect governance) is simply bashing Trump for domestic political purposes.Who seriously expects militarily weak Germany to provide leadership? Merkel is leading her reelection campaign.

Europe can't take their fate into its own hands. Won't spend what it needs to do that. Hopefully won't be politically unified to try to do that. And will need America to avoid being a victim of foreign powers.

And for the nervous types who think American treaty obligations are only good if it gets repeated endorsement by every president, President Trump actually did that since the article was written.

So never mind, I guess.

America still leads the West. In Asia and Europe. For those this year who fret America won't lead, put your defense money where your complaining mouths are and follow, eh?